Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/199584
Title: WORKING TOWARDS A HERMENEUTICS OF MEMORY: REPRESENTATIONS OF WORLD WAR II IN CONTEMPORARY BRITISH FICTION
Authors: HO HUI LING JAMIE
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: HO HUI LING JAMIE (2010). WORKING TOWARDS A HERMENEUTICS OF MEMORY: REPRESENTATIONS OF WORLD WAR II IN CONTEMPORARY BRITISH FICTION. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis investigates how contemporary British authors have responded and contributed to the remembrance of WWII some fifty years after its conclusion. Although Martin Amis, Louis deBernieres and Ian McEwan are secondgeneration war writers, Time's Arrow, Captain Corelli 's Mandolin and Atonement remain centrally concerned with the inadequacies in the remembrance of WWII. Ultimately, I argue that in their attempts to remember WWII responsibly, these authors represent a new, self-reflexive phase in British war literature, mapping out a hermeneutics of memory along the way. In charting out how the memory of WWII has been constructed, these authors expose and critique the means by which the war had previously been understood. However, they remain keenly sensitive to their own textual and conceptual limitations, thus promoting an "ethics of reading" in which readers are invited to engage independently with the memory of the past. In my first chapter, I examine the struggle to represent history, account for WWII's lasting appeal and provide an introduction to the texts. Chapter Two diverts slightly to illustrate how earlier popular and literary memory of the war was sometimes reductive in its concerns, seeking to understand the war along either side of the morally justified/unjustified equation. From this social and literary context, Chapter Three moves on to discuss Amis', deBernieres' and McEwan's critique of this simplistic remembrance, while Chapter Four considers how the naturalistic, nostalgic memories of WWII have been displaced by an interest in metafiction and the desire to engage readers in an "ethics of reading." My last chapter concludes by drawing these strands together and examines how the remembrance of WWII remains relevant even today.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/199584
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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